One of the challenges for employers dealing with multiple insurance carriers and benefit providers is managing the variety of billing systems that often come with these services.
For Ron Bowling, a benefit adviser and sales manager for the Kansas and Missouri market with Colonial Life, his public sector, commercial business and school district clients are dealing with up to a dozen different billing systems based on their healthcare and benefit offerings to their employees.
This is why Bowling, who is based in Overland, Kansas, reached out to NueSynergy, a third-party benefit administrator and technology provider based in Leawood, Kansas, to provide a new billing platform that consolidates an employer’s multiple healthcare and benefit invoices, processes them and looks for discrepancies.
NueSynergy’s billing consolidation service, President Josh Collins says, is aimed at employers first and insurance carriers second. Called NueSynergy Consolidated Billing, the cloud-based service gives employers access to view their current and historical monthly billing detail reports. NueSynergy includes its monthly administration fee within the consolidated billing invoice and fees will be billed on “a per benefit enrolled employee per month” basis.
NueSynergy completed its beta testing in early October and Collins says that a “handful” of beta testers and employers are currently using the software, with more expected to add it on in the new year. He adds that the billing solution has been integrated with tools from Employee Navigator, the HR, benefit and compliance software company that supports 18,000 companies and 3 million employees in the U.S.
According to Collins, the Consolidated Billing service is aimed at medium-sized companies with fewer than 500 employees, adding that they are focused on “employers that are in that odd transitionary spot where they're big enough to have a whole lot of problems that a big group would have but they do not necessarily have the resources that have 10 or 15 HR staff on board,” he says.
Collins says one aim of his service is to help employers manage and consolidate their billing cycles, which can be a challenge since insurers and benefit providers do not bill all at the same time each month. He has found that employers often pay these bills in advance to anticipate the payments. “Not all employers want to write a $100,000 check 30 days in advance. That's not a small amount of money,” he says.
As part of the service, a NueSynergy employee conducts an audit of each carrier statement using NueSynergy’s proprietary software to identify discrepancies between the system of record that is used to generate the consolidated bill and the carrier statement. This automated audit is a standard service included at no additional cost to the employer, says Collins.
As Bowling describes it, employers can now “put multiple bills on one bill and pay one check and have somebody else audit the bill.” He adds, “That seems to be a high level of interest to those clerks, schools or plan administrators” that make up his client base.
He adds that being able to identify among 200 employees those questions and issues, such as have a qualifying event that would move someone from an individual to a family plan, and pare them down to three or so issues that a human auditor can address is attractive to small business owners.
“Some of the other companies in the marketplace that have built this, their focus is to make it easier from a carrier perspective to bill the group. We've come from the exact opposite direction where we are approaching the employer, identifying their concerns and providing the solution directly to them regardless of which carrier they have on hand,” says Collins.